WEEK IN REVIEW: Reporters' notebook

Reporters' names appear regularly in print, and unless it's a name like Smith or Jones, readers' wheels start turning: "Didn't I go to high school with a ... ?"

When a reporter uses two last names, the chances of a query doubles. But it's pretty unusual to be asked about both names, separately, in one day.

So, no, Heidi Knapp Rinella isn't related to the Rinellas of Chicago or Iowa -- at least as far as she knows. And she doesn't have a relative named Knapp who is a professor in San Diego.

She is, however, highly amused whenever she is asked if George Knapp is her father -- which happened, again, the very next day.

For the record: No relation there, either.


Outside the Legislature, state Sen. Bill Raggio, who died Thursday at 85, was a thoughtful family man who was concerned about the well-being and health of others, including news reporters.

He was the first person to call and send flowers when I was hospitalized in 1987 and again in 2001. He frequently asked about my health, even when he was experiencing his own medical problems.

Raggio showed up one summer at a party for former Las Vegas Sun editor Bryn Armstrong's 90th birthday in Carson City. He met my daughter, Annabelle, then 6. My wife, Carol, and I had just adopted her after she had been our foster child for four years.

"I have adopted children, too," said Raggio, who would not identify which of his three children was adopted. "I love them all the same. They are all my children."

Any parent knows he was absolutely right.


Clark County Commissioner Tom Collins stuck his thumb in a bobcat trap Thursday in his office. On purpose. He even gave a thumbs up with the trap clamped on his finger.

Why would Collins allow a trap to close on his finger? To prove that trapper Tracy Truman, who resigned from the county Advisory Board to Manage Wildlife, did not treat the wild animals he traps inhumanely.

Truman, a 40-year trapper, was criticized by some commissioners for posting a video online of his dog lunging and barking at a trapped bobcat. He said the video was an educational tool meant to show trappers they don't need a dog that harms a trapped animal. Animal rights activists campaigned for Truman's removal from the board.

See Collins stick his thumb in the trap at twitter.com/kristijourdan.


It didn't take long for the Legislature to forget state Sens. Sheila Leslie, D-Reno, and Elizabeth Halseth, R-Las Vegas.

Their photos and contact information were pulled off the legislative website on Wednesday.

Leslie resigned Feb. 14 and announced she has moved out of her Washoe County district and would be a candidate this fall for the seat now held by state Sen. Greg Brower, R-Reno.

Halseth resigned Feb. 17 and said she had to move from the state because she could not find a job because of the negative publicity surrounding her messy divorce and child custody battle.